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Creative acts of service mark second annual Global Youth Day

Adventist Youth skip hearing sermon to ‘Be the sermon’

Creative acts of service mark second annual Global Youth Day

In Mexico, youth hold a sign, which reads "Fifteeen seconds of prayer can change your life." The group was part of hundreds of thousands of Adventist youth worldwide who skipped hearing a sermon on Saturday, March 15 to participate in community service. [photo courtesy IAD]

This month’s Global Youth Day was the second annual event that sent hundreds of thousands of Seventh-day Adventist youth and young adults out of church for service projects in neighborhoods and communities worldwide.

The March 15 event was also broadcast on the Internet live, highlighting projects from 20 sites. This year’s event had nearly three times the live online participation from last year, with more than 27,000 media publications on the event’s website and Facebook page.

Youth Ministries Director Gilbert Cangy said the event helps bring unity to Adventist youth around the globe and is a chance to express creativity in service.

“While our young people are scattered around the four corners of the world, they are bound by a unique and common calling to proclaim the everlasting gospel and prepare the world for the soon coming of Jesus,” Cangy said.

The event asks youth to skip hearing a sermon and instead go out to “Be the sermon.” Adventist Youth from Namibia to Norway visited elderly in nursing homes, sang songs of support to prisoners and offered health and nutrition information in city squares. Many offered prayers for passers-by, all adding up to millions of acts of service worldwide.

“I was amazed with the creativity and diversity of initiatives that youth around the world came up with,” Cangy said. “They were all outstanding.”

In the United Kingdom, and iconic red Routemaster double-decker bus was transformed and parked in London’s Oxford Street offering free health screenings and prayer.

In Mexico City, youth prepared hundreds of meals for patients and families at hospitals while others in a park invited passers-by to listen to health talks and receive health screenings. In Colombia, youth held prayer stations throughout city streets.

In the Netherlands, Adventist young people used a nationally known slogan “carrying the egg” as a way for people to share their stresses and write something on a real egg.

In Egypt, youth and medical professionals held a health expo in Cairo’s Ezbet el-Haggāna district.

In the Philippines, youth in Manila distributed supplies, prayed with passers-by and demonstrated other acts of compassion before meeting for a “Compassion Walk” from Luneta Park toward Habour Square.

In Yaoundé, Cameroon, Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson offered a prayer to close GYD ceremonies in front of 7,000 people.

A team at the denomination’s Stimme der Hoffnung media center in Germany coordinated the worldwide live broadcast of the day’s activities. Local broadcast studios ranged from major church media centers and local churches to outdoor venues and a makeshift studio in a secondary school. The event was broadcast using the Internet instead of more costly satellite time.

Cangy said the event highlighted partnerships from many of the denomination’s ministries, including Youth Ministries, Communication, Adventist World Radio and Hope Channel.

Next year’s Global Youth Day is scheduled for March 21.